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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-Gracepoint: Episode One-Rangers In Retreat [fanfic]

Metallic-Armor

 

(Five Episode Mini-Series), An alternative take on the final days of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, which asks the question…what if the Rangers were not reverted to children at the end of “Rangers In Reverse”, but the rest of the world was? Featuring Kid Bulk and Skull, Battle Borgs, the Zeo quest, Alpha defusing a bomb, and above all else, more metallic glitter!

 

Episode One: Rangers In Retreat

At the Angel Grove Juice Bar, it was another frantic weekend afternoon for six extraordinary teenagers with attitude.

One of these teenagers, Rocky, was lifting a large crate of bananas that had been recently delivered. His friend Billy was helping him with another heavy crate, full of melons.

Directing traffic was the bar’s owner Ernie, who was pleased to have all the help he could get lifting these packages.

“Good work guys” he said.

“Think nothing of it Ernie, we’re glad to help, especially when it means free smoothes” said Rocky, which caused Billy to give him a dirty glance.

Rocky wondered what the accusatory stare was for.

“What? I’m eager to try out Ernie’s new recipe, you must be curious too” he said.

“Rocky, surely the fact we have put some effort into helping Ernie out with the crates reward enough?” Billy insisted,

“Come on guys, they’ll be plenty of reward to go around, and it’ll be for everyone, it’s all on me today. After all, it’s a special occasion tomorrow” said a satisfied Ernie.

As he walked past another of Billy and Rocky’s friends, Tommy, a sense of awkwardness overtook all three as they pondered what Ernie meant.

“You guys get the feeling we’ve forgotten something?” Tommy said.

“I know you get that feeling all the time, but I’m usually pretty sharp” said Rocky.

“I admit to being fairly stumped myself over what Ernie could possibly be indicating” said Billy.

Two more of their friends, Adam and Aisha, charged into the bar.

“Hey guys, is Katherine here?” said Adam.

“No” Tommy replied.

“Thank goodness, I wanted to run what we have planned for her big day past you guys before she turned up” Adam revealed.

Tommy, Rocky and Billy all looked at each other and felt an overwhelming urge to bury their heads in their hands

“Kat’s birthday, aw man I forgot all about it” he said.

“Well don’t that beat all?” said Aisha sarcastically.

“Hey, we all forgot this time, he’s in good company” said Rocky defensively.

“Well it shouldn’t really matter, this present didn’t require all of us to think it out anyway…this has fallen straight into our lap” said Aisha.

“What are you getting at Aisha?” asked Tommy.

Aisha beckoned the group to huddle together so she could reveal her intent.

Meanwhile, high above the Earth, on the far side of the moon, within a lavish lunar palace, evil was stirring.

“My father, Master Vile, is finally ready to unleash the masterstroke of the millennium” exclaimed a lethally lively Rita Repulsa to her hardened husband Lord Zedd, bratty brother Rito and long suffering solider Goldar.

“Such a prestigious presentation requires an audience, we have supplied it, now where is the presenter? Is the old coot perhaps conjuring up a vanishing act? Let’s hope so” Zedd remarked.

“Have patience my pretty, he’s been very busy, this latest scheme has taxed his powers and his mind”

“I’m going out of my mind just putting up with him” said Zedd.

Deep within the core of the moon, in an underground cave close to the lines of the Caves of Deception, Master Vile stood in the midst of heavy mist, a sceptre in hand, putting into practise an insidious incantation.

“Forces of darkness that I empower fulfil my needs at this crucial hour. To ensure that all my enemies fall, delay no longer and answer my call”

Vile raised his arms, ripples of blue electrical energy surged from his sleeves, the blue turned wildly to gold as the energy levels in the cavern increased tenfold. The sheer strength of the power surging through Vile as the incantation took effect was enough to trigger a small lunar quake.

The ground beneath Vile began to crack open, and a power crimson glow emanated from where he stood.

Vile continued his incantation.

“Evil so pure it blinds who can see, after ten thousand years, send your champion to me”

The lunar quake soon subsided, and the cave once more became stable. Vile stood firm despite much debris falling around him. He reached out to the chasm that had opened before him with his right hand and fetched a stone orb with a pulsating orange light.

“It is done, oh glorious embers of evil I thank you for this gift” Vile said in gracious thanks.

Vile would find little gratitude when he returned to the lunar palace. Having been severely damaged by the lunar quake, everyone was stumbling around. Squatt was helping Baboo back to his feet, while Rito was attempting to help Goldar in much the same way, only for the golden gladiator to swat his hand aside, opting to rise on his own power.

“Gee Pop, you did it again, you left ol’ Edd over there piping hot” Rito said to Vile, pointing to Zedd’s skin glowing a bright and enraged crimson. The colour of the lunar chamber changed to reflect his current attitudes.

“Just what in pandora’s play pen are you up to now Vile?” Zedd said angrily.

“Planning the next step in our plan to destroy the Power Rangers and conquer this planet of course” revealed Vile.

“And what will it require? Another visit from a branch of your family tree? You’re lucky I don’t cut you off at the roots” Zedd replied angrily,

“Be nice Zeddy” said Rita

“I’m an overload of evil, being nice isn’t in my nature” revealed Zedd.

“Mock me if you will Zedd, for very soon the fate of the Power Rangers shall be decided, and not by my hand, but by their own”

At the Power Rangers Command Centre, Alpha 5 was in a state of distress.

“Ay-yi-yi Zordon, a disturbance in the moon’s gravitational pull is decalibrating all of our instruments”

“Have you been able to pinpoint the cause?” Zordon, the Ranger’s Eltarian mentor, asked

“Not at this time Zordon, but the readings are off the scale, I can only think of one item found at the heart of the moon that could create such a disruption, but it’s remained undisturbed for thousands of years…not even Rita or Lord Zedd have dared to try and release it”

“Then we can only assume Master Vile has dared to do what others have not” Zordon revealed.

“Only the most absolute of evil beings would risk using what we assume has been uncovered” Alpha said.

“The evil we oppose has never been in a more desperate state Alpha, the Rangers have become quite the formidable force and Vile’s last campaign against the planet ended in humiliation. He will not take being humbled in this way lightly”

“I guess all we can do right now is hope that we’re both wrong about this, but I have a feeling in my dials that something is going to go drastically wrong” confessed a worried Alpha.

Elsewhere, in Angel Grove, a large carnival was in town.

Katherine , a pink blindfold over her eyes, asked her five teammates what was going on

“Guys, where are you taking me?! I don’t understand!” she pleaded, half excitedly as the loud music and sound of screaming children gave her the impression she was surrounded by a lively and joyous environment.

“We wanted to make sure your first birthday in the States was full of life, laughs and love. The love comes from us, the laughs come from them, and here’s to more years of life for all of us” exclaimed a pleased Aisha.

“Yeah Kat, you’re definitely going to love this” said Tommy.

Tommy and Billy lead the blinded Katherine through the main parking lot, the others following close behind.

Elsewhere in the parking lot, Junior Police Officers Bulk and Skull were on parking duty. Skull was carrying a measuring tape, while Bulk was busy writing tickets on a notepad.

Skull’s measurements one vehicle in particular were analysed by Bulk, scribbling them on the notepad and agreeing with them.

The owner of the car soon arrived, his features hidden behind a baseball cap and a pair of dark shades.

Bulk approached him.

“Excuse me sir, but according to our meticulous measurements, your car is too inches close to the line. That’s a mighty big traffic hazard there.

Skull wound up the tape measure and plucked it into Bulk’s hand.

“Write ’em his notice Bulkie” Skull exclaimed.

“Sir, I must advise you to be careful where you deposit that heap of yours, otherwise next time we’ll be forced to tow it” Bulk continued, chuckling. Skull followed that up with his own trademark laugh.

The man removed his shades, revealing the features of Bulk and Skull’s superior officer Lt. Stone.

“I might be forced to do something quite disturbing if you go through with that gentlemen…so why don’t we put a bad idea to bed” said Stone in a smooth and stern voice that shook Bulk and Skull to their core.

“Yes sir, absolutely sir” said Bulk, tearing up the parking ticket and stuffing it in Skull’s mouth, Skull swallowed it and grinned nervously at Stone, who rolled his eyes and stormed past them.

Around the corner, the blindfolded Kat was brought to the carnival entrance.

“Now for the grand unveiling” said Aisha as Tommy handed her the tickets for entry.

“I’m ready guys, surprise me” said Katherine.

Billy removed her blindfold and Katherine took in the full sights and sounds of the carnival in progress.

“Surprised?” said Rocky.

“Oh guys I love this, thank you so much” said Katherine as she got a little overemotional.

“Hey, wipe those tears girlfriend, this is a happy occasion” remarked Aisha.

“I’m so lucky, these past few months have been a rollercoaster for me, meeting you guys has really changed my life for the better” Katherine said.

“We’re all lucky to have met you Kat” said Rocky.

“Come on, guys. Let’s go have some fun!”

At the Lunar Palace, Master Vile was explaining his latest plan to his family.

Squatt and Baboo, most curious about the item in Vile’s hand, reached out to touch it, only to be electrocuted by a surge of Vile’s sceptre

“Don’t put your grubby paws on it. This is a delicate item, it has the power to shatter the very foundations of a planet. Do you want us all cast adrift in space?” Vile” cautioned with sheer contempt in his voice.

“It would help of course Vile if we knew just what we were dealing with” Zedd said.

“Thankfully it is the Rangers that will have to deal with this orb’s power, and they will find they have at last met their match”

“Their match? Wouldn’t they use that to start a fire and smoke us out?” asked a dumbfounded Rito much to Vile’s dismay. Zedd zapped Rito’s behind with a bolt of energy from his own staff.

“The Orb was devised as a morphing grid in miniature” Vile explained, “It has the ability, when placed in a location that aligns perfectly with a set of stellar constellations, can emit a temporal wave that restores the Earth to an earlier point in its history. This was originally devised as a last resort by the Morphing Masters should evil overtake the planet, but the orb was too powerful for them to control, and was thus buried deep within the moon. Only a thorough breakdown of the caverns of despair’s defences by the Rangers on their last visit here granted me the power sufficient enough to release it”

“So this orb can do what we’ve already tried, and failed, to do in turning the clock back on the Earth, to do. An inspirational piece of original thinking there Vile” replied a cynical and wearier Zedd.

“Oh ye of little faith, this will do more than just reverse time, being a product of the Morphing Masters, the orb harnesses the very core of the Morphing Grid’s energies, whenever energy from the same source is used in opposition to it, it absorbs and bestows it’s wielder with a karmic deflection” Vile explained.

“Are you telling us this is basically a rabbit’s foot?” asked Rita.

“I got one better sis, it’s the whole rabbit” said Rito.

“Rito, I am entrusting the Orb of Doom to you, position it just north of the city, it will do the rest. You need not worry about interference from the Power Rangers, indeed I am looking forward to their attempts at meddling” Vile instructed, handing Rito the orb.

“You can count on me Pops” said Rito, shimmering in red energy as he transported himself down to the surface of the Earth.

Back at the carnival, the six teenagers were atop the Super Slide riding atop potato sacks, cheering loudly as they slid down towards the bottom. At one point in the trip, Tommy found himself unable to maintain his balance and spun around on his back.

Katherine was in high spirits, and exclaimed how awesome the slide was as soon as they touched down.

“You guys want to try out the Roller Plane next?” asked Tommy as Katherine helped him to his feet.

“I eagerly agree” said Billy as he came down.

“I’m definitely up for it” said Katherine.

Rocky clutched his stomach, feeling a little queasy.

“I don’t know guys, these rollercoasters are really messing with my intestines, probably shouldn’t have those chilli dogs before I started on these rides” he said.

“The ironic thing is you haven’t even been on any real rollercoasters yet” joked Aisha.

The Rangers communicators suddenly went off.

Katherine’s face froze, she shook slightly.

“Not today” she whispered.

Tommy and the other dashed off to a secluded corner at the edge of the slide, the teens huddled together in a circle, activating their communicators.

“We read you Zordon” said Tommy.

“Power Rangers, you are required at the Command Centre immediately” said Zordon.

The teens did as instructed, triggering the teleporter on their communicators. Their bodies shimmered and crackled with sparkling multi coloured electricity and they flew into the sky heading towards their Command Centre hidden in the rocky mountains on the outskirts of the city.

Upon landing inside the Command Centre, they were greeted by a distressed Alpha,

“Oh, thank goodness your’re here! Ay-yi-yi! It’s just terrible!” he bellowed.

“Calm down Alpha, I’ve never seen you this haywire” said Adam.

The teens, looks of concern on their faces, asked Zordon what the latest emergency was

” Master Vile has summoned the darkest force in the universe, and is preparing to unleash it on our planet.” Zordon revealed.

“I don’t get it! What force?” Aisha asked

“The Orb Of Doom. A device that harnesses the very power of the Morphing Grid. Corrupted long ago by the forces of evil it lay dormant within the Moon’s caverns of despair for millennia until very recently. Somehow Master Vile has gotten a hold of it, and has sent Rito to Earth to place it at a specific set of coordinates. Once he succeeds, Vile will be able to use the Orb to reverse time and undo key events in our history. It will be as the Power Rangers had never arrived”

“Wait, it can tap into the Morphing Grid energy? Does that mean it can give Vile, Zedd and Rita access to our powers?” Rocky asked.

“No, but for as long as he has his hands on the Orb, Rito and his forces will have a distinct advantage in both strength and tenacity that could prove to be a difficult challenge” explained Alpha.

“Once the Orb is planted, it will burn through its remaining energies to accomplish its task. You won’t have to worry about it afterwards, but by that point it will have achieved it’s purpose and the Earth will be altered”

“Does this orb have the power to halt time indefinitely?” asked Billy.

“It was created to be an ideal weapon by people whose sole ideal was the planet’s perceived golden age, an age that cannot be viewed through a lens that looks forward” Zordon revealed.

“So in other words, to the orb the past is most present” said Adam

“Let us intercept Rito Zordon, we can take him” said Tommy.

“There is a chance, but there is a great risk Rangers. As Alpha has said, the power you draw from the morphing grid will be used to enhance Rito and his own forces; they would prove to be a formidable match”

“We’ve gotten by before through taking chances” said a confidant Tommy.

Billy printed out the co-ordinates and studied them thoroughly.

“Remember, Rangers. Once the Orb is secured, it cannot be removed.”

“Red Ranger Power”

“Black Ranger Power”

“Yellow Ranger Power”

“Pink Ranger Power”

“Blue Ranger Power”

“White Ranger Power”

Transforming into the Power Rangers, the six teenagers teleported to their destination, where they found Rito wandering the hills.

“Look, he’s got the orb in his hands” said Adam, pointing to the glowing object in Rito’s grip.

“Hey Rito, we’ll take that” called out Tommy.

Rito turned around and grunted.

“Hey, dad said you’d arrive for the party, might as well start it with a bang” he said and fired several electrical shots from what passed for his eyeballs, igniting the very ground the Rangers stood on, though fortunately the Rangers were able to leap out of the way in time as the soil erupted into flames.

The Rangers encircled Rito, giving him no possible way out.

“You’re surrounded Rito, you might as well surrender and hand over that Orb” said Tommy.

Rito waved his bone-sword menacingly at them.

“If I had nerves, you guys would be getting on the end of every one of them” Rito remarked.

“Whatever your game is, you’re going to lose” said Rocky.

“Oh games? Now this is definitely what I call a party, here’s one of my favourites, it’s called “TENGA, YOU’RE IT”

He waved his sword and summoned an army consisting of purple and black feathered freaks

“Those feathered forces have never been much of a match for us Rito” said Tommy.

“Always a first for everything, sic ’em boys” said Rito.

More Tengas approached Aisha from behind.

She backed away slowly upon noticing them.

“I hate to tell you this, guys. But now we’re the ones that are surrounded”

“I ain’t got all day, so if you don’t mind, I’ll leave you guys to play while I get my job done” Rito said, resuming his journey.

Suddenly, Zedd’s most loyal minion Goldar arrived.

“I heard you were having a party, why wasn’t I invited?” he said.

“Guys, we can’t delay any longer, we’ve got to stop Rito before he plants that orb where it needs to be” said Billy.

“Agreed, drop it Rito” said Tommy.

“We won’t let you get away with this” said Katherine.

“I’m afraid you have no choice this time Birthday brat, the grid’s energy flow through this odd little orb, a lot of luck is on my side this time”

“Your luck’s about to run out” decreed Tommy.

“Fortune favors the bald” said Rito

“That’s bold you numb skull” said Goldar

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with my skull, sure it’s a bit dented around the edges, but it feels just fine” said Rito.

The Rangers, realising time was of the essence, charged into battle with the Tengas. Rocky threw several fierce punches, some of which the Tengas deflected or ducked, and set themselves upon him. Aisha managed to avoid being sliced in half by Goldar’s sword and reached out to grab the orb from Rito, but a Tenga speared her from the side and pulled her down to the ground.

Billy tried his hand next, getting close to Rito and managing to spar with him briefly. Rito was able to juggle clashing with Billy with holding the orb and keeping it from falling into the Ranger’s hands. The orb glowed brightly, Rito could feel the harmonious energy of the grid protecting him as Billy found it difficult to get past Rito’s sword attacks and take the orb from him, even attempting to kick it out of his hand fell to pieces as Rito’s hand was able to avoid every attempt by Billy to do so.

Finally, two Tengas grabbed Billy’s arms and held him back, Billy eventually hurled them off and knocked them on top of one another, but by the time he turned, Rito had already advanced. The two Tengas swiftly got up and this time were successful in bringing Billy down.

Adam tried his hand next only to find his path to Rito blocked by Goldar and a trio of Tengas. Billy broke free of the Tengas pinning him down and joined Aisha to fend off Goldar and the trio and clear a path for Adam.

As the fight wore on however, more Tengas swooped in and provided Goldar with back up. Blue and Yellow now faced overwhelming odds, and their plan to give Adam cover to reach Rito soon fell apart as Adam raced to their rescue.

The swarm of Tengas tore into the Rangers with kicks and pecks from their beaks, Adam was kicked in the gut and Aisha was slammed onto a slab of concrete rock . Billy found himself being tackled once again, and was barely able to get up.

Billy walked over to Tommy, who was biding his time, attempting to find a clearer path to Rito and becoming frustrated that

“Tommy, Zordon was right, the orb’s power is protecting Rito, there’s no efficient way of reaching him, and the Tengas are unbelievably strong. We need extra protection”

“We’ll call on the Mettallic Amour” Tommy replied.

The Rangers all gathered around as the Tengas and Goldar swarmed over them, they motioned their arms up in the air and then down, creating a dazzling flash of light.

“Metallic armour power up” Tommy bellowed.

A pool of gleaming energy coated the Rangers in sparkling, gleaming variations on their outfits. The Rangers cracked their knuckles and flexed their enhanced muscles.

“So you Mighty Morphing Morons are on the Metallic Mend, as if that’ll put a dent in my plans” said Rito.

“Too bad, because we’re about to put break your bird’s beaks” declared Rocky.

Aisha jumped high in the air and perched herself a tall boulder, the Tengas surrounded it. Aisha leaped off the boulder and delivered a jump kick to the Tengas, her golden yellow colouring illuminating the sky as she did so, knocking down several of them in one mighty swoop.

A Tenga also takes a leap into the air and attempts to pin down Billy for a third time, but Billy, protected by the metallic armour, was able to deliver a nasty kick with his leg in perfect position to impact on the Tengas’s chest, causing it to flip uncontrollably down to the ground.

Black Metallic Ranger Adam faced down three Tengas at once. He utilized the power of his armour, gliding across the ground at the speed of light, zipping across the area and deflecting attacks from several Tengas.

Tommy engaged with Goldar, using Saba to counter sword attacks from the winged warrior. Several Tengas attempted to attack Tommy, but his sharp instincts alerted him to the ambush and he was hold to fend off the attempt at an attack by twirling around and slashing them with strieks from Saba before turning around and again clashing with Goldar.

Rocky and Katherine attempted to double team Rito, managing to finally catch up to him through the efforts of the others. They sparred back and forth with him, again trying to get him to release his grip on the orb of doom.

Rito was not to be deterred however, and slashed away at the two Rangers with his bone sword. The metallic armor protected them, but to their horror they found difficulty in trying to break Rito’s hold on the orb.

“It’s no good, that thing is still drawing power from the Grid to protect itself” said Rocky.

Meanwhile, somewhere up in the mountain range, White Ranger easily takes on Goldar, AND several Tengas at once. What a guy! Red Ranger gets back in the action with Rito Revolto, the two sparring Tommy attempted to reach Rito next, but the Tengas wee as determined as ever to prevent their foes from succeeding, and they grabbed him from behind, Katherine and Rocky were faced with a difficult choice, let Rito go or help their leader.

Katherine knew where her loyalties lay, and dashed off to protect Tommy. Rocky was initially hesitant, concerned with the mission, but realised friendship and teamwork was always the main priority.

Rito powered on, counting the numbers until he reached a spot covered in a patch of grass.

“Looks like a pretty spot…but wait, would Vile really pick somewhere nice looking to plant this thing? Is he just being ironic?” he said to himself.

Rito sat down, bashing the left side of his skull as he pondered where exactly to place the orb. The other Rangers were struggling to keep the Tengas at bay in the backdrop of him puzzling over the problem.

He pointed his finger to the patch of earth and waving it around, settling on the left, then the right, then up, then down. Nothing satisfied him.

“This isn’t working, I have no idea where to place this thing, might as well chance it” said Rito, getting up and dropping the orb on the first patch of soil he chose.

To his astonishment, he found sometimes chances pay off for villains as much as they do for heroes.

A bright beam of violet energy was released from the Orb, streaming upwards towards the sky. Rito stood next to it, looking on in awe

“Alright” he said

“I don’t believe it, the bonehead actually pulled it off” said Goldar.

“Hey, I was the one who trashed their Zords months back too, my pop was right about broken clocks” replied Rito.

Menawhile, the Rangers found their struggle against the Tengas becoming mercifully easier, and they were able to beat them back.

Unfortunately, they also knew what this meant.

“Looks like the Orb’s been released, which means we’re too late” said Tommy.

The Rangers huddled together and watched as a loud thunderclap could be heard and the sky darkened. Lighting struck various sections of the rocky terrain, encircling Rito as he laughed triumphantly.

As the sky became a black hue, Rito spotted full moon peering through the murky clouds, as it’s glow intensified, a earthquake suddenly rocked the area.

Rito, Goldar, the Tengas and the Ranger swayed from side to side as fissures opened up in the ground and they struggled to maintain their balance.

Observing all of the events was Alpha and Zordon from the security of the Command Centre.

“Ay-Ay-Ay Zordon, the Rangers have failed” said Alpha.

“Then we must proceed with our contingency plan quickly Alpha, summon the Rangers back here and begin preparations” Zordon ordered.

“Rangers, return to the command centre immediately” Alpha instructed as he contacted the Rangers.

“There’s still a chance we can take the orb out Alpha” said Tommy.

“There’s nothing that can be done at this stage Tommy, if you stay where you are, you’ll be affected by the temporal storm the orb is generating” Alpha revealed

“Tommy, listen to Alpha, Rito’s won” Rocky insisted.

“No, we’ve got to get the orb” Tommy said, anguish and desperation in his voice.

“Remember what Zordon said, the orb can’t be removed. It’s over, we have to retreat”

“No way” said Tommy, trying to make it to where the Orb was, only to be pulled back by the remaining Rangers.

“It’s too late Tommy, please, it’s too dangerous to remain here” Katherine pleaded.

Tommy pounded the ground in frustration as he realized his friends were right.

“…Ok” he said.

Tommy looked at his friends; he clenched his fist in frustration, and made the call.

“Rangers, retreat” he said.

The Ranegrs raised their arms to the sky and triggered their teleportation.

“The Rangers in retreat? Now there’s a story” said Rito.

“We’d best retreat ourselves, otherwise we’ll be taking a trip to the Earth’s core” Goldar said, grabbing Rito by the shoulder blades and teleporting away.

Back at the Lunar Palace, a triumphant Master Vile addressed his family, giving the returning Rito a gold medal for his competence.

“Well done sonny boy, I knew the good fortunes of the Orb of Doom would bring misery and ultimate defeat for the Power Rangers” Vile boasted.

“Thanks dad, if I had a face, I’d be red with blushes right about now” said Rito.

Rita noticed Zedd was hesistant to celebrate.

“Hey, what’s down with your demeanour, the Rangers lost and had to run away” she said.

“Exactly, they retreated back to the Command Centre, where undoubtedly Zordon will find some means of protecting the power squeaks” Zedd revealed.

“Not even the wise and formidable Zordon can prepare fully for the great sea of change about to flood this planet” Vile revealed as bolts of lightning darted out of the Earth and lit up the stars, exploding into majestic sparks of light and energy that danced across the moon palace.

Back at the carnival, Bulk and Skull were trying to maintain order as the citizens panicked and ran in all directions.

“What’s up with the sky? The forecast said it’d be clear all day” said Skull.

One citizen trod on Bulk’s foot, causing him incredible pain

“That’s the fifth time someone’s stood on my bad toe today, the next one to try that is up to their pencil necks in trouble” he vowed.

No sooner that he’d decreed this did the same thing happen again. In pain, he grabbed the citizen by the neck and demanded he apologise.

“Care to repeat that Bulkmier?” said the Citizen, revealing himself to be Lt. Stone.

“Apology ac-accepted sir” Bulk said.

“Hey Bulk, you wanna head off and get something to eat” Skull said as he turned back to his friend, only to freeze in horror at the icy look on Stone’s face as he suggested this.

“I meant get something to eat for the folks here” Skull said nervously.

“Yeah, a little something to calm their nerves and stomachs, I don’t know if you’re aware of this but there’s something brewing up there” Bulk said nervously, pointing upwards towards the sky.

On the moon, Master Vile began to cast a spell

Give me strength, power, and rage. People of Earth, reverse in age”

The Orb Of Doom gleamed with another surge of power, a ferocious torrent of fire shot upwards and igniting the moon, making it as bright as the sun, before it shot back down towards the Earth and immersed in a warm glow.

Inside the Command Centre, the Ranger, still in costume, watched a view of the Earth from the viewing globe.

“Look, the planet is beginning to reverse it’s rotation” Billy said

“Alpha, can you focus on the carnival?” Tommy asked.

On the viewing globe, the carnival slowly ground to a halt. Citizens froze in place as the planet burned bright with white hot energy.

On the moon, Master Vile concluded his spellbinding ceremony.

“Ultimate power, exert your force! Divert the Earth’s natural course!”

“These nursery rhymes aren’t worth my time” said a despairing Zedd.

Rita aggressively elbowed him.

As the world turned, Master Vile gloated at his supreme victory.

“The Rangers will not able to summon their Ninja Zords or draw on their own power, their defeat is total, we must make preparations for the conquest of their world” he said.

The Earth began spinning in a clockwise direction, opposite of where it was heading before, and as it did so, those caught up in the temporal storm found themselves regressing in age.

Bulk, Skull and Lt. Stone were among the panicked citizens reduced to children.

“Hey, aren’t we a little bit short for these uniforms?” asked a nimble and nervous Stone.

“Who asked you?” said Bulk, shoving Stone to the ground and trying to walk away only for his feet to trip over the long sleeves of his pants.

Elsewhere, someone is tossing a baseball to some milk jugs at a booth, observed by a vendor with his dog at his side, when the temporal storms overtake them and they’re all reverted to children, with the dog reverted to a puppy.

Back at the command centre , the Rangers observed the changes to the world in disbelief.

“I can’t believe this is happening” she said.

“Our parents…our friends, will they even recognise us if we head back?” asked Adam.

Tommy was beside himself with guilt and anger.

Observing all these changes at the Command Centre, Katherine shed a small tear as the world she knew fell apart, and all on her special day.

“What do we do now?” she asked.

Noone had an answer.

TO BE CONTINUED

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Slide Step (Fanfiction)

 

POWER RANGERS AND SLIDERS:

“SLIDE STEP”


“Well, it’s time to take the fight against evil back to my own world” said Scott Truman as he prepared to board the inter-dimensional travel train docked within the Panorama City subway, having travelled to a world where a different group of Power Rangers, and the human race, were thriving.

There had been a clash of personalities, even a physical clash that pitted Scott’s wits and skills against the leader of this dimension’s Rangers, Jayden, but ultimately this battle between them proved to be a ruse to fool their enemies and they were able to get the drop on their adversary, a devious machine being known as Professor Cog and a Nighlok General called Shifter.

They were able to overcome their differences and rally together to defeat an unholy alliance between the Nighlok forces of this world and the ruthless and malicious machines of Scott’s own.

This team of Rangers had even gotten to meet Scott’s own group after they were temporarily sucked into his home dimension by Professor Cog. With the assistance of Doctor K and the remaining Rangers on Scott’s team, they were able to return to their own world.

“Say hi to your team for us” said Emily.

“I wish you could demorph” said Mike as the two walked over to the centre of the train, “So I could thank you face to face”

The doors of the train slid open, and Scott stepped into them

“I see the way she looks at you”

“Hey guys, you ever wonder how a train can just travel to another dimension as easily as the snap of a finger?” said Mike

“We experience stranger things over on our end of the universe” Jayden said

“I think you mean multi-verse” said Jake

“Scott’s team were pretty sharp, I admit I had a bit of a crush on the Scottish Ranger” said Mia.

“That makes sense, between your love of cooking and their love of frying, you’d get on like a kitchen on fire” joked Kevin, “Provided you don’t set the kitchen on fire of course”

The Samurai Rangers laughed and proceeded to walk out of the tunnel. As they did so, Jayden took one further glance back at the tunnel

And so the Samurai Rangers went back to their regular lives, little knowing that within the tunnel, fresh problems were about to manifest.

Inside the train, Scott looked at his left arm and tapped slightly onto it, a binary code began to materialise within the fabric of his uniform, dotted in black letting that was enhanced by a velvet glow, igniting the code and making it visible. Scott tapped on three letters and two numbers and then gently nodded his head.

Scott felt a slight tremor beneath his feet and the insides of the train began to vibrate and shudder. As he approached a bright, shimmering light that began to gradually shrink and then balloon in size.

“What’s going on?” said Scott as he gazed on in awe at the sight before him, managing to make out a vivid shape at the centre of the unstable nexus, a technologically advanced, towering city with a long stretch of runway across it. A sharp-edged and brightly eagle eyed vehicle flying overhead, violently pushing itself forwards and backwards, pounding away at an invisible barrier.

Finally, the buckling ended, the city faded from view, and the wormhole stabilised again. The train flew through and arrived at its intended destination.

As Scott clambered out of the train, he was greeted by familiar faces, his team mate Ziggy, Col. Truman, his father, and Doctor K.

“Scott, are you Ok?” she said, pulling out a small micro probe and scanning him “Don’t budge, I have to check that series Red’s bio external defences haven’t been in any way compromised by the energy emissions”

“In short, she was looking for creases in your spandex” said Ziggy.

K gave him a scowling look.

“What the heck happened to me in there?” said Scott, “The wormhole went…nuts on me, that’s never happened before, and I almost ended up somewhere else”

“If it’s any comfort, you’d still have been home” said K, “What you saw WAS Corinth”

“Really?”

“Same place, same location, just a different dimension, like the Earth you had just visited” said K, putting away her probe and anxiously patting Scott on the shoulder, “There, erm, clean health bill, or something”

“I’m teaching her all the tricks of being a good examiner. All that’s needed now are the lollipops” said Ziggy cheerfully

“But what could have nearly thrown me off course like that?” said Scott

“That’s what we aim to discover. While you were gone, we received a visit from a group who possessed technology similar to the inter-dimensional toys that the good Doctor has been tinkering with over the course of the year” said Truman.

“…Wait, does that mean…Logan came back?” said Scott.

“Yes and no” came a voice from behind K. A tall male flanked by a black man, one short woman, and one overweight elderly gentleman.

K made the formal introductions.

“Scott, this is Quinn Mallory. You’re going to find this hard to believe, but he’s Logan’s gender flipped double from a parallel world”

“I’m afraid Logan St. Clarie’s presence on your world was a direct result of tracking the wormhole left by our old timer” Quinn explained.

Scott looked perplexed.

“Its how we slide from world to world. You see, we’ve been on this world before, back before this Venjix virus took over and reduced everything to Skynet circa 1997”

“Wait, you’re not with her?” Scott asked.

“I’m glad to say we aren’t young man” said the eldest of the group.

“Wait, I know you…you’re Maximillion Arturo, but you died in Venjix’s initial attack wave”

“My double, I assure you” Arturo explained.

“Logan said she knew you…I just assumed she meant the Arturo from this world. She taught us everything about the technique of…what do you call it? Sliding?”

“Where is Logan?” asked Quinn.

“Gone…like I said, she slid to another world after she gave Professor Cog the security codes required to breach this facility and use the train to reach the world I just returned from” Scott explained.

“We found a video diary where she made her intentions clear; she intended to use the technology to help the highest bidder achieve total dominance of parallel worlds.” K revealed.

“Yeah, that’s her calling card, she likes to brag. A lot” Quinn explained.

“Now that the situation has been successfully contained, and Logan is no longer a priority, I’m terminating our development of this project” Colonel Truman revealed.

“But we don’t know if we may ever need it again…what if Logan finds another willing despot to peddle her sliding knowledge to? Who would be the last line of interdimensional defence?” K asked.

“The good Doctor’s right Colonel, you still need this project. You need to hold the line on this front as you have against Venjix on your world” Arturo explained.

“Our timer’s about to hit zero guys, stand back”

Quinn watched as the countdown on the timer hit zero. A powerful light beam emitted from the device and a vast swirling vortex opened up.

“This is where we part, good luck Colonel” said Quinn as he beckoned Arturo and the others to join him.

Ziggy suddenly jumped out to spring one of the group with a photograph and a pen.

“Look, I know it’s likely you’re not the same man, but Rembrandt Brown was a big influence on my life, I’d like if you could sign this photo of yourself from this world, make it out to Ziggy” he asked.

Rembrandt smiled.

“You spoke from the heart kid, and you’ve withstood a hellhole, guess that makes you a soul survivor” he said, signing the photograph before rushing towards the vortex with the other Sliders and jumping through it.

As the vortex closed, Ziggy punched the air in excitement.

“This is great, I can put forward the myth Rembrandt is still alive, that he gave me his one and only new autograph, and make a mint off of the publicity”

Doctor K took the photo from him and promptly tore it up.

“Your mind needs to be elsewhere” she said.

Scott and Truman casually walked away from the parked Train; Ziggy looked at it, transfixed

“Why did Scott go for the ride and not the rest of us?” said Ziggy, “I’d kick tail for a cruise on this”

“And what if you’d been lost to the twin-cast?” said K.

“Twin…what?” asked a perplexed Ziggy, trailing off.

“The emissions in the temporal tunnel feed were caused by twin-cast buffering, two external dimensions bleeding into one another, think of it like attaching one step to a multi-verse staircase, it takes a tremendous hammering from the top AND the bottom, so far the bottom is unwilling to co-operate, but if not complimented, the maintenance being done on the top will remain unfinished and the tears it’s causing will pierce through into other reality, and STAY torn up”

“Why are you dumping this info on me? I’m not exactly wired this way” said Ziggy.

“I’m learning to share” said K.

Somewhere else, across the multitudes of parallel worlds, on a world ravaged by an all too powerful despot, Doctor K’s worst fears regarding Logan St. Claire were being confirmed.

“As you can see, Professor Cog made the most of the opportunity my technology had given him, he proved a match for the Power Rangers of that world and it took a Ranger of another world taking a little trip to their reality to give them even more of a fighting chance. Now you may say to yourself, ‘did you factor that into your plans?’, I’m pleased to say I did, you see, the Red RPM Ranger carries within his suit an upload of the Venjix virus, which proceeded to create an off-shoot program designed to overwhelm and infect every trace of that world’s electronic software and hardware. Should take a few years to manifest”

Her partner smiled with supreme satisfaction.

“All it takes in this merry dance are some little side steps” she concluded.

“You have done well” said Lord Drakkon.

Mighty Morphing Power Rangers-Worth The Scar [Fanfiction]

 

MIGHTY MORPHING POWER RANGERS:

WORTH THE SCAR

Tommy Oliver stared out at the long stretch of road as his friend Jason Lee Scott drove them into two after a two day period of recreation in the mountains.

The heavens were always so inviting when he was younger, so full of mystery. He wondered how clouds could shape, and how people could perceive those shapes as anything their mind permitted.

His mind drifted to how it must feel for Kimberly too as she glided through the clustered clouds with her Pterodactyl Zord, piercing the air with it’s wings.

And then there was what was above even the clouds, through the atmosphere, where the most fortunate and unfortunate of men had graced with bold footsteps, heading towards days of discovery.

“Hey bro, you feeling Ok?” Jason asked, disrupting Tommy’s state of thought.

“Oh, nothing man, just a little rattled is all” said Tommy.

“Our trip was supposed to clear you of those vibes, I’d hate to think it was all for nothing” Jason replied.

“No, no we’re good, the days were good to me..aw man, I don’t know, maybe it’s just the idea of seeing everyone again in this new state of mind, after all we’ve gone through lately…”

“Hey, they understand, we all do. Your powers aren’t at the levels you want them to be, you shorten out, but that doesn’t make you any less of a Ranger or a person” Jason assured him.

Tommy seemed hard to convince.

The car pulled up at the parking lot of Angel Grove High. The two swiftly disembarked, carrying their schoolbags with them as they sought out their friends across the school grounds.

They soon struck pay-dirt, stumbling across Billy Cranston, Kimberly Hart and Trini Kwan.

“Hey guys, how was your trip?” asked Trini.

Tommy walked past them, unsure of what to say.

“Questionable results?” Billy probed.

“Tommy, hey, lean on me, let me know what troubles you” Kimberly asked, placing her arm under Tommy’s own and escorting him into the school corridor.

“Reckon she’ll strip him of that armoured shield of his?” Trini asked of Jason.

“He seemed fine during our retreat” Jason commented.

“Solitude and minimal company is often more comforting than facing the pressures that come with public immersion” said Billy.

Kimberly and Tommy strolled through the corridor, and walked past Bulk and Skull, two of their school’s resident hell raisers.

“He’s looking a bit green there Kimmy, how about you hook up with someone with a cleaner bill of health?” asked Skull, once again trying to hit on the girl who had on multiple occasions repelled his advances.

“First off, your breath isn’t so clean, secondly, you even attempt to ask me out again and you’ll have medical bills to worry about” Kimberly angrily retorted.

“She’s concerned about your hi-gene now. That’s a step up, bet she just loves to play nurse to you in her dreams” Bulk said, sneering.

This started to signal a simmering rage in Tommy, who gave Bulk a damning glare.

Kimberly nudged Tommy along, Skull attempted to follow them but Kimberly aggressively opened a locker, which hit her leering stalker square in the face.

“Tommy, come on, talk to me, even just a little, you can’t keep yourself pent up about like this. It helps to release a little bit. We all thought the retreat would help you let go”

“It did Kim, but what good is letting go when you have to pick it up all over again? When you have to return to the grind and the battles to come knowing you have limits now, I might become a burden to you rather than an ally. You’ll be too busy taking care of me to worry about saving the rest of the world” Tommy admitted.

“The world owes you our care Tommy, you’ve done so much for us before, you’ll pull through for us again. One day, we’ll find a way to replenish you to full power” Kimberly said, comforting Tommy.

Tommy gave Kimberly a generous smile, and kissed her on the forehead as they entered the classroom.

Awaiting them was Ms. Applebie, who directed the students to their seats.

“Be sure not to sit at the one square in the middle, we’ve had reports of it having some loose screws, we don’t want anyone sitting down and being taken on the ride of their life” she warned.

The day’s lesson commenced. A plodding history lesson on the moon landings, but things were to perk up considerably with the announcement by Ms. Applebie of a special lecturer.

“Class, please give a warm welcome to Ms. Grace Sterling of NASADA space operations” Appelbie said.

The class politely applauded as Grace made her entrance, though it was hard to tell whether the enthusiasm from the student body was genuine or if it was just to be courteous. Many of the class did not look that engaged or interested.

Grace’s appearance, however, certainly commanded Billy’s attention.

“This is incredible” he whispered to Jason.

“Wasn’t she the original director of NASADA back in the eighties?” said Jason.

“Yeah, way back when we were little. I remember learning her name, I wouldn’t stop talking to my mom for hours about her” Trini replied.

“I’m surprised she’s still in good standing with NASADA, after all that happened…” said Billy.

“Yeah, that woman was responsible for Angel Grove’s first manned space mission, which ended with Rita escaping” Zack revealed.

“The astronauts who released her never came back from that mission either, there was an inquiry, but she never faced negative consequences for it” Billy added.

“Class? If we can keep the chatter to a minimal, Ms. Sterling would like to start talking” Ms. Applebie

“Thankyou. I know what you’re all thinking…some of you will have heard of my reputation over at NASADA and you’re left with the question, is this another mistake? Is coming into the open to address you that mistake? Is this where I finally admit to a failure? Why come bore you with what you perceive as hollow promises about the joys of space exploration when you know such horrible consequences emerge from it?”

The class was suddenly hanging on Grace’s every word.

“I didn’t come here to tell you about what happened, how guilty I felt about it afterwards, or how I contemplated never to reach for the stars again. I’m here to inform you of what will forever be waiting for us out there, there’s danger, there are also wonders, both come hand in hand on this tiny planet alone and as reality has shown, it awaits us out there too. We have moments of weakness, moments where we feel we can’t do enough because of our limits. You wanted an admission of fault? Here it is. That is the mistake I made. The mistake we ALL make. Giving in to our limitations and letting them know we can be beaten. There is a wealthy universe out there, a worthy universe, and we must deem ourselves worthy if we wish to go on searching for what’s out there rather than stay precisely where we are worrying about it”

The class erupted in adulation, Tommy joined in, this was exactly what was needed to perk him up.

“Thankyou Ms. Sterling for that riveting speech. Is there anything else we can do for you today to show our gratitude?” Ms. Applebie asked.

“I’d like to talk to Tommy Oliver if at all possible” requested Grace.

The class all turned to an anxious Tommy, who was taken by surprise himself, he pointed to himself and silently mouthed “me?”

“What does she want with you?” whispered Kimberly.

“Beats me” said Tommy.

Grace opened the door to the class and urged Tommy to come with her.

“This is a unique opportunity, you’d better take it” Billy insisted.

Tommy steadily got up and strolled past the envious class and joined Grace outside.

Bulk and Skull bumped into him as they finally came in themselves, Bulk having been tended to a throbbing nose Skull had sustained after crashing into the locker Kimberly had opened in front of him.

“Settle down there buddy, here, take a seat there” said Bulk, pointing to the chair in the middle row.

“Guys, trust me, you don’t want to nest yourself there” cautioned Kimberly.

“Save it limp lips” Bulk retorted as Skull sat down on the faulty seat. Sure enough, it gave way and the entire thing collapsed with Skull being thrown to the floor and square on his butt. The class howled with laughter.

“Skull? You Ok? Talk to me” Bulk said.

“I thought I heard the voice of an angel asking how I was” a disoriented, but elated, Skull asked.

“Yeah, and I bet you see flying ballerinas swirling over your head” remarked Bulk.

“You see them too? Then I’m not crazy” replied Skull.

“He does have a point” Trini whispered to Zack.

“You heard it too?” Zack responded.

“From a most unlikely source” Billy said, pointing to Kimberly, who seemingly also found merriment in Skull’s predicament.

“Kim? Worried about him? You feeling ok bro?” asked Jason.

“Affirmative” Billy said.

“When it comes to those two, that is certainly what I’d call a melting iceberg” joked Zack.

Outside the classroom, Tommy and Grace had a talk.

“I hear you’ve become a bit of a sensation around these parts Mr. Oliver…martial arts expo champion, quarterback, star of a tv commercial..” she said, listing off Tommy’s recent banner accomplishments within the school’s calendar year.

“Yeah, it sure doesn’t beat space exploration though” said Tommy.

“Oh I don’t know, maybe you can compare the experiences when you try it for the first time” said Grace.

“I don’t follow you” said Tommy.

“About two days ago, we picked up a distress beacon emitting from space satellite MVAMA 1. It points to a specific location in the rocky mountain perimeter just on the outskirts of the city. Two human life signs were detected, they matched the bio rhythms of Tanner Scott and Jordan Everett”

“Hey, I know them, they’re the two astronauts who released Rita Repulsa from her dumpster” Tommy replied.

“Rita sent their space shuttle back to us over half a year ago, as a pint-sized time warp device, but it’s crew were never returned. We’ve suspected they’ve remained in her custody ever since, now we have proof. We need your help in retrieving them”

“Why me? Why am I important?” Tommy asked.

He of course knew precisely what the answer is, but wanted to know what Grace’s angle was.

“The perimeter is protected by a dark matter energy wave, the kind of power that we detected from the sword you once carried which was destroyed by your friends. We believe you have the ability to bypass that energy field and allow us a clear path to retrieve Scott and Everett”

Tommy was awe struck at the depth of Grace’s knowledge.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I was a Power Ranger, like you. Back in 1960, Zordon recruited me and a few others to intercept a Psycho squadron at Woodstock. All very secretive at the time, he didn’t want Time Force nosing about”

“Time Force?” Tommy asked.

“A little ahead of you…a little ahead of all of us, that’s not important right now, what’s important is I need your help Tommy”

Tommy took a moment to absorb all he had learned.

“Aw man…what will I tell the others?” Tommy continued.

“You can consult with them if you wish, but you were the one closest to Rita, somewhere tucked inside of you are all her dark secrets, secrets we need Tommy, if we can find a way to access them, we stand to have a real advantage in this rescue mission. Will you help us?”

After school had concluded for the day, Tommy assembled his friends at the Juice Bar, where he discussed the situation.

The team hung on his every word until he was finished.

“What do you reckon guys?” Tommy asked them.

“I think she’s using you Tommy, she’s willing to put you in danger knowing the risk is too great for herself” Kimberly argued.

“But if there’s a chance we can rescue those astronauts, shouldn’t we take it?” Tommy continued

“I concur, it’s our duty as Rangers to maintain the well being of every human under threat from Rita” Billy responded.

“Yeah, but Tommy’s powers are failing him, he could put Grace and her team as well as himself at risk” Zack countered.

“Does she even know his weaknesses?” Trini asked.

“Does she even care?” argued Kimberly.

Jason looked towards Tommy, who was again feeling uneasy, he stared out into space, Kimberly clutched his hand and gripped it tightly.

“I’m sorry man, we all want you to be up for this, these are just the cards we’ve been dealt” he said, handing him his half-eaten yogurt to finish off.

“I know man, that’s why I’ll need all of you supporting me, I want to take this challenge on, it’s the right thing to do” Tommy replied.

“Are you absolutely certain Tommy?” Kimberly asked.

Tommy looked at her with earnest eyes.

“Yeah, he’s totally on this” observed Zack.

“We’d better talk to Zordon” Jason suggested.

The teens retreated to the back of the Juice bar and triggered their teleportation circuits on their wrist communicators. Six bright sparkling beams of electrical energy surged through their bodies and catapulted them upwards into the sky and across the rocky terrain of what lay beyond the city, arriving within a large domed structure, home to their allies Zordon of Eltar and Alpha 5.

And they found one other there too.

“Ms. Sterling?” Tommy said as the Rangers discovered Grace in their midst.

“Surprised to see me?” she said.

“I thought nobody could get in here without a power coin” noted Trini.

Grace produced a coin from her pocket

“Completely depleted now, burned it up when tackling my Psycho counterpart. It’s a fun story, I’ll have to tell you about it sometime around the campfire”

“We’re not your scouts” a salty Kimberly snapped.

“With a lip like that, you’d be kicked straight out” Grace remarked.

“Ladies, ladies, simmer down” cautioned Alpha.

“Grace, it is good to see you again” Zordon replied.

Grace smiled, and folded her arms.

“Still bald I see…didn’t I tell Alpha to adjust your appearance somewhat? Maybe make you look a bit more beatnik? Or maybe a bit of a punk?” she said.

Alpha chortled.

“I’d have to be one bad ‘bot before I ever try to lay graffiti on Zordon” he said.

“Fair enough, I just think if you’re going to recruit teenagers with attitude, you should show a little of it yourself” Grace argued.

“I may not share in the exuberance of the youth I recruit, but I still learn a great deal. Your experience as leader of my covert Power Ranger team gave me the kind of insight I needed to make my most recent selections” Zordon assured her.

Grace was touched by the compliment.

She turned to address the remaining Rangers.

“I know what you’re thinking, that you don’t trust me, that you think I’m a glory hound just looking for a quickfire way of redeeming myself in the eyes of the public, but believe me, if I were so eager to use you as weapons I would have sold you all out to our military powers in a minute. No, this is simply me seizing an opportunity to save two lives from a tyrant, I helped send them into the fire, it’s only right I try to put that fire out”

“You don’t have to put our friend’s life at risk” Kimberly insisted.

“Were there any other member of your team, I’d welcome their assistance, if there any other course of action, believe me, I would take it, but your friend possess something you don’t. We have an advantage over Rita we need to exploit” Grace revealed, hoping that Kimberly, the most stubborn and hardest to persuade of the six, would see sense.

Grace turned to Zordon hoping he would back her reasoning.

“Grace has informed Alpha and I of the situation Rangers. The mass of darkness forming around the city outskirts and shielding Scott and Everett has the potential to inflict even greater harm on your own Ranger forms than anything drawn from the sword Tommy possessed under Rita’s control. If there is to be a rescue attempt, only Tommy is capable of the task”

Kimberly felt all this wasn’t fair to the team. Tommy had just come back to them, even if he was not at one hundred percent, he still gave it his all. Now he was being asked what she perceived as way too much when he could offer so little, especially at this crucial moment when he felt drained and unsure of anything.

She noticed Tommy staring at the viewing globe, which had settled on an image of a quiet, clear blue lake with a small cabin and a sharp-edged mountain overlooking it, almost touching the clouds.

This was the cabin he had spent the past few days with Jason.

“Talk to me” Kimberly asked, gently rubbing her right hand on Tommy’s strong back.

“When we were up there…I felt it Kim, I felt something calling to me, this sense of absolute peace…and when we came down from the mountains it was replaced by an even louder echo of doubt and emptiness, only magnified ten times more…it felt alien”

“Your doubt?” Kimberly asked.

“No, not the doubt, the peace” Tommy revealed. Kimberly was taken aback by this.

“Funny idea right? That something that should make you feel so clear is instead something that you recognise as foreign, like it doesn’t belong to your psyche”

“Tommy, listen, it’s Rita, somehow she’s tapped into your mind again, she’s trying to make you think these things”

“Man, Is this the kind of weapon Rita’s resorting to now? To take our opportunities for recreation and use them to deconstruct us?” Tommy said, the anger in his voice rising. It scared Kim.

“Tommy, we should tell Grace about this” Kimberly said, hesitating to keep her voice down, wanting to speak louder so that Sterling could hear her.

“No, no if I’m the only chance those guys have of getting under Rita’s thumb, I can’t jeopardise that” an assertive Tommy concluded.

“Ok, Ok, but we’ll keep an eye on things over here. The slightest bit of trouble and we’ll come down” Kimberly insisted.

“Well Mr. Oliver, our time for decision making is up, can I count on your cooperation?” Grace asked.

“One hundred percent” said Tommy.

“Then we’d better head back to my base camp. Zordon will teleport us there” said Grace.

“Take care man” said Jason, forming a fist and bumping one hand against Tommy’s own.

“You’ll always have the power inside, not just out” Zack added.

“Shall we go?” Grace said.

“May the power protect you both” Zordon said, maintaining, as always, his composure in light of such an emotional and high stakes situation.

“Coordinates locked, teleportation in progress” Alpha said.

Consumed by sparkling energies, Tommy and Grace left the Rangers’ command centre and towards their mountainside rendezvous overlooking the city.

Meanwhile, far above the planet Earth, on the surface of the moon, within a vast lunar palace, Rita Repulsa, a servant of pure evil, and worn enemy of the Power Rangers and Zordon, plotted her next move.

She watched from her Repulsascope, keeping tabs on everything occurring on the Earth, and watched as her two prisoners, Scott and Everett, squirmed and struggled, bound together by rope.

Rita’s enforcer, the fearsome warrior Goldar, arrived.

“The barrier of darkness is in place my Queen, all is prepared” he said.

“Excellent, soon Tommy will faced with temptation that even a Power Ranger can’t pass up” Rita replied, cackling.

Having touched down, Tommy and Grace made their way over Grace’s camp, Tommy stopped for a brief moment to take in the surrounding area. From a short distance he could make out the cabin retreat where he and Jason had spent a few days training and meditating in.

Grace walked over to him, curious as to what he was thinking.

“This view giving you some fond memories?” she asked.

“I didn’t think I’d be back here so soon…part of me is relieved” Tommy said, taking slow and deep breaths as his lungs took in the crisp and clear air around him. Here there were toxic fumes of car exhaust or foul odours from the unwashed hecklers in class to confound his senses.

Here was no pressure, only peace.

And then his mind turned to the conversation he had with Kimberly earlier, and whether or not the calm was indeed nothing but a weapon being used against them.

He could not afford to make an enemy of clarity, not at this most crucial of hours. Besides, the overwhelming sense of fulfilment substituted for his forcefulness in driving the negative thoughts from his mind.

“Take me to your camp, now’s not the time to waste on splendor” Tommy spoke, and the two resumed their journey.

Finally making it to the camp, Grace introduced Tommy to one other individual.

He was a tall, stone-faced and clean shave blonde who was quite able at playing musically with spoons and was wearing headphones.

Tommy extended his hand to him.

“Hey, good to meet you, I’m Tommy” he said.

The blonde took his headphones out and asked Tommy to repeat his introductions.

“I said I’m Tommy” he said.

“Do you play anything?” the blonde asked.

“No, not really” Tommy admitted.

The blonde turned to Grace, looking distinctly unimpressed.

“He has no song in his heart, it is well that we desire only his mind” he said, tutting and putting his headphones on again.

“is this the part where you say I should probably ignore him?” Tommy asked. Grace laughed.

“I wish it were that simple. The success of our mission relies on trusting him. This is Borg, he’s one of NASADA’s top level navigators. Knows every inch of this sector, and he’s quite set in his ways, he absolutely loves music. Power rock in particular” she said

“Figures” Tommy muttered, as something else came to him.

“What did he mean about needing my mind?” he asked.

“Borg isn’t just a travel guide, that’s his day job. He’s one of the top psychics in the city, he can unearth that which dwells beneath what we possess on the surface of the mind…like I told you Tommy, you have secrets stored somewhere in there that can help take down the barrier of darkness” Grace explained.

“You seem really insistent on uncovering what’s in my head, what if I don’t like what you’ll find there? You might awaken something inside of me, a booby trap Rita left behind. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt so unclear since coming back from here” Tommy replied, again relieved that the pressures of his self-doubts were barely affecting him up here at the top of the summit.

“Whatever we find, we’ll put it to good use…you’re in good hands here Tommy. Trust me, from one Ranger to the other, you’ll have all the help, all the power you’ll need, to overcome Rita’s evil” Grace said, reassuring him.

Tommy smiled.

“Borg, take us to the perimeter, let’s get our boys out of there” she said.

The remainder of the Rangers observed the journey of the three from the Command Centre. The person paying the most attention was Jason, something which did not go unnoticed by the others, Kimberly in particular.

“Nickel for some of those thoughts Jason?” she asked.

“I can’t get my head around how Tommy’s been acting since leaving the mountains…he must feel pretty lucky to be heading back there. It’s as if he lost a piece of himself while up there”

“Or maybe being outside the perimeter of society’s norms is the reason he feels more sufficient” theorised Billy.

“He’s tried to be many different things to many different people lately, maybe he isn’t being allowed to be himself, maybe he feels he is lost in the machinery” Trini added.

“Something still doesn’t add up, but it’s been like this ever since he came back with only a fraction of the power he possessed before”

“I’m not about to give up on him Jason. He’s done so much for us in the span of the year, it feels like we’ve known him for far longer…he’s a part of us, just like the power is”

Jason’s eyes were suddenly alight as a realisation hit him.

“That’s it..it’s so simple. We’ve had these powers for a while, when Tommy lost his abilities the first time, Zordon said his body had to morph back to it’s original state, we witnessed what it was doing to him after he transferred the power, it was causing him physical pain, he was physically breaking down. The powers are a part of us, and it’s like losing a limb, or coping with a handicap, like a missing arm or a leg with minimal mobility” Jason explained.

“Woah, so Tommy feels like he’s missing a vital part of his body? No pun intended, but you’re going out on a limb with this one” remarked Zack.

“It’s the explanation that fits Zack, and I think it’s a weakness Rita is exploring. How long has this barrier of Darkness been up anyway? Was it up when we were up at the retreat?” Jason replied.

“Impossible, the command centre’s long range scanners would have picked up any insidious activity from Rita” Alpha insisted.

Zordon, however, had a theory of his own.

“Not unless Rita has been siphoning off portions of positive energies lifted from Tommy when he originally possessed the Green Ranger abilities” Zordon said.

“Using what was left of her Green Candle” Zack realised in alarm.

“Your instincts are spot on Zachery” complimented Zordon.

“Yeah, furthering Jason’s theory, if our powers are also a part of our cellular make-up, then everything that makes up our positive and negative vibes is tuned to it also” Billy added

“Jason , what exactly is it you’re suggesting?” a tense Trini inquired.

“That Rita surrounded our retreat with energies that made up part of Tommy’s psyche, disrupting his inner fulfilment and making him feel what he’d lost magnified by a hundred fold. When he came down from the mountains, he was made to feel like the answer to his troubles remained where he’d previously been and couldn’t follow him back into the active world” Jason revealed.

“Tommy was right, and so was I. I knew it was Rita getting into his head” Kimberly realised, her instincts having been dead on.

“But if that’s true, then Rita wants Tommy to stay there…meaning…” Trini began, only to be cut off by Kimberly, who shared her suspicions, and who was more than willing to say what her best friend was thinking.

“Grace…guys, do you think she’s luring him into a trap?” Kimberly asked.

“Impossible Kimberly, Grace was a Power Ranger, she saved the entire world” Alpha said in protest.

“But she sounds like she’d do anything to get those astronauts back…she’s willing to take Tommy back to the mountains despite his power loss, what if she’s taking advantage of how vulnerable he is? What if she’s willing to strand him there, she takes the astronauts back, becomes a big hero, and we never see Tommy again?”

“Be wise of what you say Kimberly, these are dangerous questions to ask that could unbalance the very trust we have in the judgement of the Morphing GRID. You are asking us to suspect a valued ally of treason” Zordon cautioned.

“Can you blame me? Times have changed Zordon, for her, for you, maybe even for all of us since Tommy came back. We have to look at every option. Send me down there, Tommy needs me”

The alarm bells in the Command Centre suddenly went off, signalling danger.

“Oh no, what now?” Kimberly asked.

“Goldar and Scorpina are attacking the children’s activity park south of the city” Zordon revealed.

“That’s Rita for you, all work and no child’s play” remarked Zack.

“We’ll take care of this Zordon” Jason promised.

“Alpha, keep a sharp eye on Tommy and Grace, let me know if she makes the slightest ill-advised move” Kimberly requested.

The five teenagers held their morphers up, with a unifying cry of “IT’S MORPHING TIME” from Jason, they uttered the names of the prehistoric spirits that they drew their great power from.

“Mastodon”

“Pterodactyl”

“Triceratops”

“Sabre-Tooth Tiger”

“Tyrannosaurus”

A bright shimmering light ignited within the command centre as the five transformed into the Power Rangers.

Soon, five streaks of light formed around where their bodies were and they found themselves rocketing out of the command centre and through the sky en route to another clash with Rita’s lethal monsters.

On the moon, Rita watched the activities of the Rangers.

“A little distraction from the real danger that awaits them..they best not be hopeful their friend will come back to them as the same man they knew…whichever way he chooses, he will forever live under only one shadow. Mine.”

Back at the mountains, Tommy, Grace and Borg were well on their way, Tommy opted to make conversation with the psychic.

“So, you know your way around these mountains, you ever think of settling down here? Wide open spaces, wilder minds to tap into with the animal life around here…hey, there’s a thought, how come you psychics never try that with animals anyway?” Tommy asked.

“You’re starting to sing, but I still don’t hear a choir” Borg responded with a dismissive tone.

“You talk in riddles, swell” Tommy said, throwing his arms in the air as he struggled to reply with something that satisfied the guide.

“He likes associating things with music, helps him focus on the task” Grace replied.

“Don’t you think that makes him a bit of a caricature?” Tommy asked.

“It’s his way” said Grace.

“Well, I’d help if I could, but man am I a terrible singer” Tommy remarked.

Borg handed Tommy a couple of his spoons, he asked him to hold up one in the air.

“What, is this the part where you bend it or something to show how powerful you are? I’ve seen that trick plenty of times” Tommy said.

“Raise your voice” he said.

“I told you, I can’t sing” Tommy replied.

“He doesn’t mean your literal voice” Grace explained, “He wants you to share what it’s in your mind”

“What does this have to do with the spoons?” Tommy asked.

“Just concentrate, look into the spoon, see what’s reflected back at you” Grace said.

Tommy did as instructed; he watched his reflection in the spoon, thinking about his most recent past, touching on the day his powers were taken from him.

Within his mind’s eye, the reflection changed from a tall, lean handsome man to a dishevelled and broken individual who appeared to be visibly ageing.

“I-I see myself lost, drained” Tommy said.

“That’s understandable, it’s what you’re feeling now” Borg explained, “We want you to go further than that. We want to prepare you mentally for what you’re to go through…think back further, to when you were completely lost to the darkness, not just when you were haunted by it, but when you fully embraced it as a companion, a teacher, when it was a part of your voice, a part of your song”

“Aw man, I really hate music lessons” Tommy remarked.

Nevertheless, he did as he was told. He could feel a tangible link between himself and the power within himself, more than he’d been feeling previously.

“Can you sense your song?” Borg asked, giving Tommy his headphones and playing a soothing country track to keep the young man’s senses soothed as it delved into forces that threatened to shatter them.

“I sense it, it’s coming closer…so near, nearer than it’s been since the sword was broken…” Tommy revealed, small pockets of sweat beginning to form on his forehead.

“Pinpoint it’s exact source, describe your sensation” Borg instructed.

Tommy blinked several times, he felt quite dizzy, the grip he had on the spoon was steadily weakening, but he knew he could not lose sight of his reflection, inner or outer, at this crucial juncture.

“I can hear two words, words I’d heard when I was serving under Rita” Tommy revealed.

Grace was most interested.

“Can you say the words Tommy?” she asked.

Tommy could barely maintain his focus any longer as the pressure of tapping into the darker recesses of his core memory became too much, the words did not wish to be too clear, but he forced them to the surface, as well as his sensation.

“Desire…control…and…something else, I’m…starving” said Tommy, before the spoon finally slipped from his hand and he almost collapsed to the floor.

Grace and Borg helped steady him.

“Rita’s hold over you has to do with desire and control, your hunger is for power” Borg revealed

Suddenly, the group were surrounded by a dozen or so grey clay-like soldiers, making an unintelligible noise.

“Putties” Tommy said, taking out his morpher and holding it to the sky.

“Grace, you and Borg find some cover” Tommy said.

Grace did as instructed, and took Borg around the back of a nearby pile of boulders, peering their heads around the boulder to catch a glimpse of the unfolding action.

“DRAGONZORD”

A swirl of raw green energy encircled him and Tommy became the Green Power Ranger.

He immediately threw himself into battle, nailing the putties with precision kicks and strikes, though they would retaliate with thunderous punches, some of them were even brandishing weapons welded to their clay arms, which cut deep into Tommy’s body.

Tommy could barely concentrate with the country rock playing, the headphones and walker still attached to his ears underneath his helmet, so he switched tracks to something a bit more of a kick to it.

And so you fell into the danger
And you’re all alone tonight
Well you’re surrounded by the hurtin’ type
And you just don’t care for the sight

Well, we’ll come runnin’ to your side
We will protect you from your fright
All of us our on your side

We’ll take them
We’ll take them… down
Fight!

Grace and Borg witnessed the battle unfold. Despite Tommy being slightly more motivated it was an even fight. Both sides were gaining swift advantages over the other.

“Tommy will be spent mentally and physically through this fight, we need him at peak levels if we are to breach the barrier of darkness” Grace assessed. Borg went through his pockets, and found something of use.

“Smoke bombs, perfect” Grace said.

The two disembarked from their hiding place and tossed the smoke grenades on to the floor. The Putties were left lost and confounded, allowing the three travellers to make good the escape and resume their journey.

Tommy demorphed , but was left exhausted from the experience. He relied on the shoulders of Grace and Borg as they carried him the rest of the way.

Finally, the three arrived at their destination.

“There they are” said Grace, pointing to two individuals nested against a large slab of rock, wearing NASADA space gear, their helmets off, bound and gagged, both attempting to let out a cry for help.

“Scott and Everett” said Borg, approaching where they were.

“Get back man” said Grace.

Borg heard the warning too late, and reached out to the two, a powerful, fleshly form of energy surged through his body and catapulted him backwards, causing him to land roughly back in front of Grace and Tommy.

“The barrier of darkness?” said Tommy.

“We’re lucky nothing worse happened to him” Grace replied.

“So, it all comes down to this…what do I do? Do I just stand still, click my fingers and it opens?” Tommy asked, producing a finger snap to prove his point.

To their astonishment, this seemed to do the trick.

“You have access to Rita’s song inside you, it recognises it, it will give you access” said a weakening Borg, beckoning Tommy to enter the open barrier.

He did so with precision care, Grace followed. The barrier closed behind them, cutting off any attempt at help from the outside.

“Ok, so now what? This looks all too easy” Tommy asked Grace.

Grace knelt down to untie her friends, only to be electrocuted by a spark of sickly looking emerald energy.

“Don’t come near us, we think we’ve been booby-trapped” warned Everett.

“Here, let me try” said Tommy, trying to untie Everett only to be struck by the same dark energy bolt.

“I don’t understand, I thought the barrier of darkness fed off the raw energy of Rita’s darkness in my mind, I should be able to override what’s been done to these two” Tommy said, mulling over the predicament with frequent patches of mental guesswork, scrambling to come up with a solution.

“You have not yet made the choice Tommy” came a calculating and cold voice echoing from the heavens. It was Rita.

“What choice Rita?” said Tommy.

“You can only select one of my prisoners to take with you, and the barrier of darkness has harnessed the code words I placed in your mind when you first came into my servitude…what you have long desired, what you hope to gain.”

“Desire and control” Tommy realised.

“They have now been made manifest, they are represented by these two prisoners” Rita explained. “The choice is simple, one will maintain your greatest desire, another will give you back control of your fragile state beyond this perimeter. That which leaves with you will remain a part of your soul forever. Choose wisely, or unwisely, it makes little difference Tommy Oliver, one of these days you will realise just how deep a scar I have left on you”

Tommy was lost in thought.

This was a chess game, and it seemed like Rita was making all the right moves. He had to find a fault.

“How do you know my choice will cost me anything? If I choose desire, I could have anything my heart wants, which could be the safety of my friends” Tommy replied, hoping he could make a swift move that would stop Rita’s game in it’s tracks.

“You could, but you would not possess the mental control to win another battle…you will only delay their ultimate defeat. They will fall sooner or later…besides, we know what your desire is, we know from your hunger. You desire power Tommy, and not just the power I stripped away from you, but power absolute”

Tommy turned to Grace, concern and frustrating in his eyes.

“It’s true, isn’t it Grace? Borg told me that too…I didn’t want to believe it. Guess I’m just human” said Tommy.

“Yes, you’re human, you possess great power, and even greater responsibility in wielding it…but you have your moments of weakness, these are desires you suppress in the name of the right thing” Grace said, giving the young man a needed pep talk.

“Take back control, and you will need it to keep the guilt at bay all your days, take back your desire, and you will be faced with the prospect of absolute power with no means of controlling yourself, you will be corrupted, and your friends will turn against you. Either way, you will be left broken. Choose who to save Tommy, but know you can never salvage yourself” said Rita. “You do not possess the will to walk away from either option, you protect the innocent, you are a Power Ranger ”

“You’re right Rita, I am a Power Ranger…but so is she” said Tommy, pointing to Grace.

“Which one are you?” Grace asked Tanner.

“I can hear a word repeating itself over and over again in my head…desire, I am desire” Scott confirmed.

“I hear it too, I’m control” said Everett.

“Great, that’s just what I wanted to hear” Tommy said, untying Everett.

Grace walked over to the bound Scott, and untied him.

Rita let out a damning scream as the dark energies surrounding Tommy and Grace dissipated.

“What happened?” Tommy said.

“I think it has something to do with me…my darkness, what I’ve been through since Scott and Everett went missing, perhaps now that we’re both fulfilled, it’s negating the barrier’s energies”

Back at the Command Centre, Zordon and Alpha watched on proudly as all five individuals made their way down the mountainside.

“Our faith in Grace was well placed Alpha” Zordon said with great confidence, “It was her drive and desire that ultimately provided the necessary counter-balance to Rita’s evil”

“You will never be free Tommy, you may have control, but you will be left unfulfilled for the rest of your days” Rita uttered, snarling.

“We all keep our power in check Rita, even you. I can live without the desire to conquer all, what I care about at the end of the day is having the control necessary to conquer you” Tommy vowed.

He triggered his communicator and patched through to the Command Centre.

“Zordon, teleport Grace and the others to Angel Grove’s medical facilities” said Tommy.

“It shall be so Tommy, in the meantime make your way over to the children’s activity park, your fellow Rangers need you” Zordon replied.

“Do you have enough juice?” Grace asked.

“Yeah, I reckon so. I feel pretty replenished, guess the barrier of darkness wasn’t quite through with me” said Tommy.

“Residual energy” said Borg.

Tommy held his morpher high and cried out the name of his mighty Dragonzord to draw on his limited, but otherwise stable powers, as the Green Ranger.

Everett and Scott, all of this was too much and they fainted just as the teleportation effect kicked in, taking them, Grace and Borg back to the city.

Tommy in the meantime was teleported to the scene of the Rangers latest battle with Goldar, Scorpina, and the putty patrol.

“Tommy, you’re back” said Kimberly with great relief in her voice.

“Yeah, and while my powers at not at a hundred percent, I certainly feel that way” said Tommy.

Realising he still had Borg’s headset and Walkman, Tommy played another track while he helped his fellow Rangers put away their opponents

No, we cannot see, who are we to look to.
No, We cannot hear, what is to believe in.
And we keep dreaming of a world where all is good so we were told, We Need A Hero.
And we keep dreaming of a time where good is all that we can find, we need a…
we need a…
hero.
No, we cannot tell, who’s the one to lead us.
But you know that we’ll be there, waiting for them to find us.
And we keep dreaming of a world where all is good so we were told, We Need A Hero.
And we keep dreaming of a time where good is all that we can find, we need a…
we need a…
hero.

With their opponents on the verge of defeat, the Rangers came together to assemble the power laser.

“POWER AXE”

“POWER BOW”

“POWER DAGGERS”

“POWER LANCE”

“POWER SWORD”

The Rangers weapons were unified as one, producing a mighty weapon which froze Goldar and Scorpina in their tracks. They opted to flee.

“Alright, we’ve pushed them back” said Jason.

“Just in time and feeling fine” Zack said, complimenting Tommy.

The next day, news of Everett and Scott’s recovery reached the local news stations.

“There was jubilation yesterday in Angel Grove when missing NASADA astronauts Tanner Scott and Jordan Everett, part of the space mission that resulted in the release of Rita Repulsa and her lethal monsters, were returned to the city. They are said to be in a stable condition, though their traumatic experience has left them most disoriented and have left them with substantial memory loss. NASADA’s Grace Sterling credited the retrieval of the two to the fearless Power Rangers. Angel Grove’s Mayor today issued the following statement: This city once more owes them a debt we can only hope to one day repay

“Hey, she didn’t take credit. I guess scouts honour counts for something after all” Kimberly said as the six friends gathered at the youth centre to listen in to the news broadcast.

“Yeah, and that’s the irony, since without her I wouldn’t have been able to crack Rita’s dark shell” said Tommy.

“Rita had all the right moves, but didn’t count the number of pawns there were in the game, check and mate” Billy stated.

“So now that you don’t need to be as distant as a mountain range, what are you planning to do for the rest of the remaining weekends in the year?” Trini asked.

“I was thinking we could do enter a cross country four-wheeler race and raise some funds for charity” Tommy revealed

“You mean, you want to head back into the wild open spaces?” Kimberly said.

“Yeah, one thing about having a sound mind is letting it get by with what’s good for the soul. Having the kind of control that I do now means I don’t have to worry about not feeling so good when I get back to the daily grind”

“A toast, to fulfilling your desires…well intentioned ones at that” said Jason.

The six friends raised their glasses of spinage juice to one another, all smiling, all happy.

All whole.

Tommy let his mind drift just for a moment, back to what Rita had told him.

One of these days you will realise just how deep a scar I have left on you

He wondered if saving a life was worth the scar.

Maybe if he pushed himself to do the right thing all of his days, then he’d be well prepared for when that scar revealed itself.

One of these days.

 

 

Pokemon-Gotta Catch Ya Now! [Fanfiction]

Pokemon-Logo

GOTTA CATCH YA NOW!

BASED ON “GOTTA CATCH YA LATER!”


With the Johto League Super Conference behind them, Ash and his friends decide to take a well-earned rest in Viridian City before they began the short journey back to Ash’s home of Pallet Town.

As they stood atop a small hill on the road leading into Viridian City, the three friends took in the lush woodland around them. The mixture of scented flowers and brisk air awoke strong nostalgic memories in Ash, memories of family, and of one day in particular.

So strong was the memory that Ash could hear the voices of the past echo all around him

You be good to your Mom”

Can I step into the wild you Dad?”

Come and catch me”

“Ash? Is something the matter?” asked a concerned Misty

Ash, on the defensive, looked her in the eye and let out a hefty laugh.

“Never better Misty”

Ash’s faithful Pikachu had taken to the green around the travelers, searching for some wild Pokemon to chase about or to even battle so his partner could catch a few. It loved a challenge, and despite being exhausted from his Johto experience, was eager to keep his battle prowess in tip top condition.

But there was to be no playtime of this caliber to come, as Ash beckoned Pikachu to get a move on as they made their way through the forests.

“Hold up a second Ash, Misty’s shoelaces have come loose” said Brock.

Ash, however, was drifting in and out again, the nostalgic pull of the voices in his head compelling him to think back to simpler times.

“Don’t you leave me behind Ash Ketchum” snapped Misty as she tied her shoelaces together.

For some reason, it was this that caused Ash to snap back out of his trance-like state.

“What? Oh, yeah, sure Misty, I promise” he said dismissively as Misty caught up with them.

“Our first port of call ought to be the Pokemon Center” said Brock enthusiastically.

Ash and Misty gave each other knowing looks, they knew what he really wanted.

“Keen to try your luck with Nurse Joy again I see” Ash remarked.

“We see Joy in virtually every town” Misty added.

“See, yet never handle. That’s due to change” said Brock, oozing confidence.

Heading into the city, the Pokemon Center was indeed the first port of call for the young trio, and Nurse Joy was of course there to greet them.

Ash handed in his pokeballs, each containing a well worn-out Pokemon still recuperating from their exhausting battles.

“I couldn’t help but notice you’re carrying one too many balls, mind if I help lighten your load?” Brock asked, trying his best to conceal his flirtatious intentions by earning his way into Joy’s good graces.

Joy, however, was having none of it.

“I’m afraid the ball is out of your court” said Joy, and gripped one Pokeball she couldn’t carry by hand in her teeth, carrying all of them over to the resuscitator.

Brock sighed. Misty patted him on the shoulder.

“Nevermind Brock, you’ll get the balls rolling some day” Misty.

A distraught Brock looked Ash’s loyal Pikachu dead in the eyes, Pikachu gave Brock a thumbs up and a wink.

Having replenished the Pokemon and returned them to their owners, Nurse Joy took some time out to examine the trio that had ventured into her place of work, she was trying to place their faces, as she was sure she’d seen them before.

Eager to prove her hunch was correct, Joy browsed the center’s vast computer database and looked up a list of trainers who had been present at the center some months prior. She soon struck paydirt as Misty’s profile and information, including her known relatives, was soon displayed on the screen.

Confident she had found her woman, Nurse Joy returned to the center’s waiting room.

“Excuse me Ma’am, you are related to the Gym leaders of Cerulean City aren’t you?” Joy asked her.

“Yes, what of it?” Misty replied, curious as to what was up.

“A few days ago, your sisters dropped by Viridian City and requested we pass along a message to someone fitting your description. They have been summoned to a private beauty pageant in an undisclosed region and may be gone for some time, they have entrusted the running of their gym to you”

Misty let out a faint gasp and frustration built up inside of her, she swiftly let Nurse Joy know how she felt

“How could they do this to me? What about all my free time? I’ve got a life too you know, there are people I want to spend more time with, this will cut into everything” she said

“I’m very sorry, I wish I could do something” said Joy.

Misty calmed herself, and turned to her friends for support.

“Guys, I really don’t know what to say” she said.

Brock seemed pleased at the news, “Trust me, when the Pewter Gym was entrusted to me, I felt like a huge weight had been placed on my shoulders, but boy did I learn to lift”

Misty wasn’t buying how sincere he was.

“Brock, you haven’t been near your gym in ages, you left it behind to be with us, then you shacked up with she-who-must-not-be-named, then came crawling back to Pallet Town when that went belly up . Don’t lecture me about the responsibilities of the world when you’re still refusing to take any on board”

Brock looked at her with a sheepish expression, he had been firmly put in his place.

Misty turned to Ash, a slight lump in her throat as an unsettling and unnerving calm took hold of her

“Ash, say something” she said.

Ash produced a smirk and gave her a wink.

“You’ll do great Misty” he said, “Besides, it’s only until they come back right?” he said.

“Did’nt you hear what Joy said? We don’t know how long this pageant will take…and it doesn’t help that I can read my sisters like a book, they’ve been on these kind of extended vacations before, but that was when I was little. Now I’m at the right age, they see fit to just get on their bikes and dash off to wherever and leave me with their workload” Misty continued.

“Oh, speaking of bikes, I have another surprise for you” said Joy, heading outside towards the center’s garage and beckoning the trio to join her.

Joy soon emerged from the garage with a very special gift.

Ash’s eyes lit up, while Misty’s eyes teared up.

“It’s your old bike, the one I ‘borrowed’ to help get Pikachu to this center for emergency medical treatment when he got injured protecting me. I remember how mad you were, guess you don’t need to follow me around much anymore do you?” Ash joked.

Misty, however, didn’t see the funny side, to her this was all coming full circle too fast.

“How can you be so calm about this?” she said, “We’re being pulled apart and you seem to think it’s like every other day”

Misty’s words were falling deaf on Ash, as he was recalling, once again, an altogether different day, and altogether different voices.

The voices were known to him, as echoes of the past tended to be. He could see in his mind’s eye, himself at a younger age standing outside his house, his mother behind him and his father in front, a heavy bag slouched over his shoulders, and slowly walking away from the pair

Can I come into the wild with you Dad?” said the young Ketchum

His father turned and smiled.

“You know how I get to keep all of my wild Pokemon don’t you son?” he said.

“You catch them” said Ash.

Think of where I am now as something you admire from a distance, but when you’re old enough to understand, when you’re ready to step into the wild, come and catch me” he said.

Ash wanted to ask him one last question, one he felt he ought to ask someone now.

But first he had to settle for the questions that lay in wait for him in the here and now

“Ash Ketchum, are you even listening to me?” Misty snapped angrily.

“I’m sorry Misty, my mind’s been elsewhere” said Ash apologetically.

“Maybe it’s me that needs to be elsewhere” Misty said, and dashed off towards the mountains.

“Misty, wait” said Ash, but Misty was too emotionally distraught to pay attention, she needed some space.

“Ash, go talk to her” Brock said.

Ash kept himself closed off.

“Will you guys excuse me? I have to make a call” Ash replied

“Of course” said Nurse Joy.

As Ash headed inside the center, Brock was left with a feeling of unease, feeling as if nothing had truly prepared him for these emotional winds of change.

“Neither of them are taking this well, Ash is so distant” Brock said to Joy

“You three have been together a long time haven’t you?” said Joy.

“We’ve led quite a roller coaster life, but we haven’t had to deal with the kind of adventure the real world tends to bring” lamented a saddened Brock.

Back at the center, Ash contacted his mother Delia via video phone

“Hi Mom” he said.

“When are you due back in Pallet Town sweetie?” Delia replied.

Ash cleared his throat, he let his mind wander backwards into the past one last time, hearing the voices of his father and his child self resonate, taking that final exchange they had not as something to cherish, but as something to heed.

Still apprehensive, Ash responded as firmly as he could.

“That’s just the thing Mom, I might not be back for a while” Ash said

“Any particular reason?”

“Mom, do you remember when I set off on my journey to be a Pokemon master?” Ash said.

“Proudest day of my life. You’ve grown into a great trainer. Your advancements in the Johto league were all the neighbors could watch on tv and talk about the next day. Every step you take further and further into the world beyond Pallet Town takes you that further to filling in the shoes of your dad. I know he’s as proud of you as I am”

“How is dad?” Ash asked.

“He hasn’t come home yet, but when he does we’ll celebrate how far you’ve come” she assured her son.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately. I bet you have too” Ash said.

“Every day” she replied.

The tone of the conversation turned less jubilant between mother and son as Ash posed a question

“Does it get harder?” he asked.

Delia fell silent, if only briefly, her smile diminished, she briefly closed her eyes and held her hands close to her chest.

Ash felt a pang of guilt, but felt compelled to continue. Something was eating away at him, a choice memory that had been persisting since they arrived in Viridian City.

His mother’s voice soothed his inner sense of uncertainty as she finally responded.

“Whenever he or you are far from home, I reach down into my memories and I pick out all of the moments we spend together, and I bring them to the surface. Nothing that brings me such joy could ever equal a burden, don’t ever think of yourself or your father as something that could bring any day difficulty. What you leave behind, the promises you make for tomorrow, are what see me through today”

Ash let these words from the heart ease himself back into the memory of one such promise. One he’d dismissed earlier

“Don’t you leave me behind Ash Ketchum”

“I promise”

The promise he’d made then took his thoughts back further to another conversation, in another lifetime.

Catch me later” said his father.

Why not now?” asked the young Ketchum

Ash stepped out of the projected memories, past and present, with renewed conviction, and at peace.

“Is there anything troubling you dear?” Delia asked of her son. Ash shook his head and gently wiped away a small selection of minute tears.

“Nothing Mom. It’s nothing…and everything. I’ll call you again as soon as I can” Ash said.

“I love you sweetheart, catch you later” she said.

Ash smiled.

She always would keep his Dad close to her.

Ash came out of the center and found Nurse Joy, he examined the bike.

“You guys did a real swell job” he said.

Nurse Joy beamed with an approving smile. Ash turned back to look at her.

“…But it could do with a slight modification”

A few hours later, Misty had calmed down and had returned from her trek through the mountains, and had caught some water type Pokemon deep in the cavern rock pools. She saw Ash and Brock awaiting her with the bike.

Resigned to her fate, Misty took a deep breath and walked over to them.

“Guys, Ash, I wanted to say sorry for…” she began, but quickly cut herself off as she examined the bike, noticing a significant change had been made to it.

“Ash, my bike, why does it have an extra seat?” she asked.

Ash walked over to the bike and stroked the second seat gently with his right hand.

“I thought we could ride back into Cerulean City, you and me, together”

“I’m flattered Ash, but don’t you need to head back home?” Misty replied.

“I am” he said.

“Ash, what are you saying?”

Ash gripped Misty’s hands tightly with his own. Misty felt a flutter in her chest as her heart beat faster.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad, about a question I asked him when I was younger, he never answered it, he took off into the wild and I’ve been trying to catch him ever since. My whole journey has been trying to grasp something always just out of reach, I can’t let this happen again to someone I also admire, someone I care about”

Misty blushed, she held back fresh tears.

“We’d see each other again” Misty assured him, reminding him of what he’d said earlier “, It’s only until my sisters come home, I can tolerate a few million days and nights by myself once I put my mind to it”

“Then we’ll wait for them together, sometimes it’s better to have someone keeping you company” Ash argued.

“Your ship needs a captain” Brock remarked, reminding him of something he said the last time he parted company with them.

“How about you Brock? We could always use an extra hand” Misty said.

“Nah, you were right, I need to get back to Pewter City and run the gym, maybe I could work out a bit, put some muscle on so I’m as chisled as my Onyx” Brock joked.

Ash and Misty mounted the bike, Misty’s Togepi was deposited in the basket attached to the front, while Pikachu climbed aboard Ash’s head.

The pair waved goodbye to Brock and proceeded to head in the direction of Cerulean City, leaving Brock behind to start his own journey back.

But first, he’d try his hand once more at flirting with Joy.

“Are you sure Brock can take care of himself on the way back?” Ash asked Misty.

“Oh knowing him, he’ll get a lift from Officer Jenny once she comes over to arrest him for harrasing Joy at her workplace” joked Misty.

Ash clung to Misty’s back tightly, Pikachu spotted something up in the sky and prodded Ashe’s head, prompting him to stare upwards too.

Misty brought the bike to a standstill so she and Togepi could stare upwards at the mesmerizing sight also.

High above, a magnificent bird flew over them, a Ho-Oh, native to the Johto region.

“It’s beautiful” said Misty.

“It must be heading home” Ash said.

“Just like us right?” said Misty.

“I guess” said Ash.

Misty smiled, she could tell what Ash was thinking,

“You want to try your luck catching something like that?” she asked.

A part of Ash would have jumped at the opportunity, but he opted to stick by his current decision.

“I meant what I said, it’s better I leave things to the wild and catch what you have in front of you for now” Ash revealed.

As the pair resumed their journey, it came to an abrupt halt as the bike fell into a connivningly camoflaughed pit.

Thrown from the bike, Ash struggled to get his bearings and almost slipped into unconsciousness. Only Pikachu and Togepie’s cries kept him active and alert. He scrambled to Misty’s location.

Ash noticed the fall had left Misty with a bruised leg and some minor cut. He shook her gently, trying to bring her around.

“Come on Misty, wake up” Ash replied.

Much to Ash’s relief, Misty came around.

“Anybody ever tell you you badly need a bath?” she said, noticing the specks of grime on Ash’s face.

Ash gripped her hand tightly and brought her to her feet. Pikachu and Togepi high-fived one another once it was clear Misty was simply shaken.

“What just happened?” Misty said, observing the deep crater they were in.

“Someone’s cruel idea of a prank, this could have been worse for others, what if some kids were playing nearby?” Ash responded.

“Unfortunately for you, playtime is over” uttered a snark voice from above them.

Ash and Misty found themselves face to face with three individuals towering over them.

“Who are you guys?” Ash asked.

“Prepare for trouble” said Kai.

“Team Rocket?” Misty asked.

“Not quite, we’re the Triple K, Kim, Kail and Kai, the best trappers and trainers in all of Viridian City, and we’ve been tasked by Team Rocket with acquiring that Pikachu, hand him over” said Kail.

Misty stepped forward, shielding Pikachu.

“Oh look, she wants to be a hero” observed Kim.

“Get behind me Ash” Misty said.

“Misty, come on, it’s my Pikachu they want, let me in on this action” Ash replied.

“I can handle this myself Ash” said Misty.

“I promised you we’d be all in this together from now on, not one soul’s an island woman” argued Ash

“Hey, are you having a quarrel down there?” said Kail.

Ash and Misty looked at each other, their faces red with embarrassment.

“I guess Team Rocket’s descriptions of these two were accurate, they are lovebirds” Kim said.

“Enough stalling. Kai, send in your Hitmochan” ordered Kail.

Kai did as instructed and sent Hitmochan into the pit.

“I’m sorry Ash, I guess with you willing to live under my roof, I got a little overprotective” Misty remarked as the Hitmonchan came closer.

“Real world responsibilities, don’t let them shake you, let me share them” said Ash.

Misty nodded.

“Ready Pikachu?” said Ash. Pikachu nodded while Togepi retreated to the remains of the bike and hid.

Ash give Misty a confident and sharp look.

“Ok tigress..pounce” he said.

“Go Politoed” Misty commanded as she set one of her own Pokemon loose.

“Use water gun” Misty instructed. Politoed obeyed and let out a gush of high pressure water at the physically intimidating Hitmonchan. It proved super effective, knocking him out instantly.

The triple K sent in two more Pokemon, Hitmonlee and Hitmontop, which surrounded Politoed.

“Pikachu, thunderbolt attack now” instructed Ash.

Pikachu’s delivery of the bolt was swift and devastating to Hitmonstop, stunning him. Politoed used the bubbles attack on Hitmonchan, while Pikachu delivered another ferocious thunderbolt to Hitmontop and Rapid Spin on Hitmonlee. It wasn’t long before the team of Pallet and Cerulean’s finest had mopped the floor with the forces of the Triple K.

Ash and Misty clambered out of the pit and approached the trio, who all backed away slowly

“Hey, nothing personal you know, simply business” Kim said.

“If this was buisness, consider this pleasure” said Ash, and instructed Pikachu to again use thunderbolt, Misty joined in with Politoed and water gun.

“I guess these stories about blasting off are also true” the trio all screamed in unison as they were captaulted into the air and vanished into the distance.

“Well, guess Team Rocket won’t be paying top dollar for those cheapskates services anytime soon” remarked Ash.

“Yeah, but who’s going to pay for my bike, it’s wrecked again” said Misty as she climbed back into the pit to pick up Togepi.

“Oh I’ll sort that old thing out once we get back to the gym. I need to find something to occupy my time while you’re accepting Gym battle challenges” Ash said.

“I’d much rather you challenge me every day, at least I know I’d stand more than a fair chance against you” Misty remarked as she climbed back out of the pit.

“Hey” Ash said, slightly annoyed.

Misty smiled and rubbed her hand gently through Ash’s hair, handing him back his hat. She kissed him tenderly on the cheek.

“Relax Ash Ketchum, you’ll learn a lot. By the time we’re done, we’ll be the talk of town, and not just as Gym leaders” she said.

Ash pondered what she meant by that, and his mind again drifted back into the mists of time to something Misty had said to him.

An unintentional sign at the time?

No.

A promise.

“You and I will be married someday too”

“I’ll hold you to that” Ash said aloud.

Misty, having not been privy to his innermost thoughts, was confused.

“I did’nt quite catch that” she said.

Ash laughed and began to run enthusiastically towards the direction of Cerulean city. Misty, clutching Togepi tightly, took off after him with Pikachu dashing alongside her.

“Don’t you leave me behind Ash Ketchum” she yelled happily.

“Sure Misty, I promise, just so long as you catch me first” Ash yelled back at her.

Now was as good a time as ever.

Doctor Who-Let’s Kill Hitler [Fanedit]

 

When certain events in history happen, people always reflect on where they were at the time.

For me, I recall exactly where I was when Let’s Kill Hitler went out…it had been my parent’s silver wedding anniversary, we had a grand old tea at a swank little inn and many family members came back to the family homestead for a few drinks and a bit of chatter. I had to watch the episode in my bedroom along with my cousin and little brother. At one point, an uncle joined in.

This, for many, is where not only series six went wrong, but you got the distinct feeling DW’s days as the “cool” thing to watch were numbered in the years to come.

It took a year for it to sink in, but this was it. The first post-hiatus episode following the gripping “A Good Man Goes to War” and what did we get? A flipping River Song rom-com disguised as an origin story. If anyone watching the show had a pre-existing distaste for Alex Kingston’s performance, their tempers were not quelled by this.

And yet, I quite like it.

For all the ham, the comedy, the “clever lie” bit which deconstructs the temporal grace of the TARDIS, and the gimmicky misleading title which doesn’t involve the tantalizing time travel conundrum of what to do with Adolf if you met him, it’s a very energetic script, it does offer some insights into what the Silence are, and the Tesselecta is a great concept, albiet more for the time travel modus operandi than ripping off the Numbskulls in the Beano.

I may enjoy a lot of this episode, but make no mistake, this is where series six died a gurning death over the course of 45 minutes and the Moffat era was never regarded in quite the same light again.

You can enjoy something, but you must always be aware of it’s faults so you can understand the side who trash it and not callously dismiss them in the name of the 10/10 club mentality that think the whole series is sunshine and rainbows.  You see this all the time in certain Whovian podcasts on Youtube and reaction channels, save for maybe two (Zaredit personally recommends Blindwave and Seskasays for some proper analysis)

Ah, but there wouldn’t be an edit if there wasn’t something to cut now would it? And there was a lot to go, making this, the second of my World War II themed edits, to run at a considerably shorter run time, this one clocking in at 35 minutes.

The episode begins with the way it should have, with Hitler at the front and center of the action. If you’re going to mishandle the furher, at least make it seem like he’s important…set up a bit of a mystery as to what the Tesselecta want with him, and give the Doctor a massively impactful entrance with the TARDIS crashing through…then have the titles come as Hitler, sodding Hitler, thanks our intrepid travelers for saving his life. DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNNNNNN.

Gone too is the creation of the crop circle summons and the introduction of Mels in the stolen car, and the flashbacks to her childhood with Amy and Rory.  All you need to know from the moment Mels is released from prison is that she’s a friend of the family, she set Amy and Rory up together, and she’s trouble.

Afterwards, one of the last things to go was the ultimate in time-wasting filler, where Matt Smith does a little bit of self-sabotaging and diminishes the enigmatic performance of his Doctor by indulging  in a childish tantrum about guilt and yelling out fish fingers and custard a gazillion times to really emphasize to the whole audience that Doctor Who serves the children’s whims above the adults or the family.

And that’s your lot. Episode ends on the Doctor handing River her diary and the Doctor/Song ‘ship era is well and truly set to sail in a few filler’s time. Hello Benjamin.

EDIT TEMPORARILY DOWN

Doctor Who-The End of Time [Fanedit]

mwdl

 

When I first approached this edit, I wanted to try and make it appear like Ten did not go through the “he will knock four times” scenario and thus would not have to regenerate. I don’t think the final product was all that stellar, with terrible music cues leading to poor transitions and a rather dodgy narrative in places…so when remounting the project for inclusion on FE.Org, I thought it ought to be a simpler, less radical omnibus edit…which resulted in a much smoother product.

Gone is most of Part One, which has been reduced to just 45 minutes, and we open on Ten and Wilf talking in the cafe, with Ten (channeling RTD) rambling on about how regeneration/leaving the show feels like dying (thus preparing a whole generation of “woke” plebs to write off the show or grow to hate it instantly upon RTD and Tennant’s departure) , all you need to know is that Ten’s been on Earth for a while, and the mysterious connection Wilf has to him drew the two together….and we follow the scene through to it’s impactful conclusion with the reveal of Timothy Dalton’s Rassilon…and then the titles.

After that, we, like the TARDIS, take a step back through time and space to The Doctor being summoned to the Ood sphere and being informed of The Master’s resurrection…only we evade The Doctor and The Master’s encounters with homeless men and Minnie The Menace, and cut straight to The Doctor confronting the energy wielding Master in the quarry.

Three more edits after this, the first a simple joining of part one’s cliffhanger to Rassilon entering his chambers to discuss the perils of the Time War at the start of part two, followed by us skipping him learning about The Doctor and The Master locked in their struggle and learning of Earth. The reason for this is to tighten up the continuity ever so slightly, as it can be rather jarring that we go from Rassilon talking about how The Master would achieve glory for the Time Lords, only to then have their next scene be a flashback to how they learned precisely why. Luckily, I didn’t need to cut so much out of the war room meeting.

After this,  it’s all of part two up to  when The Doctor leaves Wilf at the church having given Donna Geoffrey Noble’s winning lottery ticket.

I never liked the idea of Ten going back to visit Rose in 2005, even if he kept to the shadows, it was one companion revisit too many and I don’t think The Doctor would want to reopen that void in his hearts knowing he got cucked by her and his doppelganger in “Journey’s End”

There is only one minor plot hole in the whole thing, and that was when Ten talks to Wilf about losing The Master at the quarry..but you can easily explain that away with what you didn’t get to hear at the cafe scene in the opening scene as the two got caught up on things.

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